Toronto, Canada (Province of Ontario)
Oct 15, 2007
|What a trip we had! The drive from Quebec city to Toronto is approximately 10 hours depending on how much traffic you encounter. We decided to stay at a Walmart in Kingston to break up the drive. Kingston is 3/4 of the way there.
The weather eased up a bit as the rain became lass and less the more west we went and the temperature got lower and lower. Fortunately the RV creates a lot of heat when we're driving which is great for us now that it's cold. (It wasn't so pleasant when it was summer in Florida and Georgia.) Besides being a long drive and me coming down with the flu it was fairly uneventful. (Nothing is completely uneventful when you're travelling with 3 kids for 6 hours.Not my 3 kids anyway.)We arrived at the Walmart and pulled over to the side, close to another RV.
For those of you in SA, Walmart is very much like a Checkers - just much, much bigger and I'm not sure if I've explained this before but there is an unwritten agreement between RV'ers and the stores that we can stay in their parking lots overnight. In exchange for the overnight accomodation we in turn support the store by shopping there. For me this is quite a commitment because I do not love Walmart. Their clothes are not bad, for kids and a lot of the other stuff is the same wherever you buy it more or less but they have very limited section of organic foods. They have been getting better though. The other thing I don't love about Walmart is that it is so huge it takes us hours to get in and out.
When we first moved to the US I would shop there because it's so cheap. Patti and I would go together on a Saturday morning and Patti and I would get so irritated at Trev because he would wave us good bye and tell us to have great time like we were going to go clothes shopping at the mall or something and meanwhile we had this horrendous task of shopping in Walmart with a budget of like a hundred bucks to feeed the family for the week. (The one week we got back to the house to find that the cap on one of Patti's milk cartons had come off and there was milk all over her van. What a mess.I thought she might cry.)
I digress. Oh yes, we stayed at the Walmart and the next morning there was a thick layer of ice on the car. It was so exciting. We have never seen ice or snow before so this felt like our little horderve. I woke the kids up and we all gaped out the window staring at the sparkling stuff. It's really pretty and the ice on the windshield had all kinds of swirls in it. Of course it melted quickly as the sun got to it.
So we all got dressed went into Walmart and did some shopping. Shan bought a really cute pair of pink boots for herself and then we got driving again.
Our first glitch of the day was when we discovered that the kids couldn't go to the Halloween Carnival at Canadas Wonderland and because it was already getting late in the day it wouldn't be worth going to the Wonderland just for a few hours so we decided to postpone that for the following weekend. (It's not open during the week.) Shan was very dissapointed.
Toronto is an impressively eclectic city. We were fascinated by the various neighbourhoods, the architecture, the sculptures and the people.
Fisrt I shall describe the neighbourhoods. It was almost immediatly apparent when we took the wrong turn/exit off the highway that we were in a Jewish neighbourhood. There were temples and schools and stores with hebrew writing and stores selling Kosher food.
"This is definately a Jewish neighbourhood." I said to Trev pleased with myself for having been so observant.
"How do you know that?" he replied not as impressed by my powers of observation as I was. We had not been getting on so smoothly yesterday. Maybe it was my cold but he seemed to be very combative and irritating. We had chosen to rather not say much at all which really means I had chosen to because Trev doesn't say much in a given day anyway.
As if in response to Trev's question we passed several men wearing their yarmulkes.
Huh, I thought smugly, I love being right. And I was right. Later we went through a decidedly Asian neighbourhood and then later a Greek one. I'm not sure if there are more but they are very interesting and I would love to go back there and do some exploring. Of course that's not going to be on the top of the priority list for the kids. We also went through a beautiful shopping district and what I can only guess is the business district and if that wasn't enogh we also took in the views of the waterfront area.
Why, you may ask, are you doing all this sight seeing in bumper-to-bumper traffic with your RV and car in tow? Well, because it seems that lovely Lola does not like cities and lost "satelite connection" as we passed under the shadow of the first high rise. I mean really! Who makes a GPS that doesn't work in the city. I nearly threw Lola out of the window. And what do you do when you're stuck in traffic, and I mean stuck, and you don't have maps. Nothing, there's nothing to do but just pray that Lola comes back. Well, she did make an appearance at one point to tell us that we needed to get a ferry which is how come we got to see the water. I called the ferry people and the guy on the line thought I was a loon.
"What do you want a ferry for? he asks.
Me, bumbling lunatic, "Er, um, my GPS says I have to catch a ferry."
"Where too?" he says trying to conceal the mirth in his voice.
"Umm, to the other side?" I ask.
Needless to say we did't catch a ferry. Instead we spent hours, 3 hours to be exact driving up and down the streets of Toronto trying to find our way out. Meanwhile I have a throbbing head, I'm sneezing all over the place and have, as Shannon puts it, boogers in my nose. I want to murder Lola but don't want the kids to see me loose it so I restrain my self, the kids are sick of travelling and want food and to get out of the RV, Shan's still whining about not going to Wonderland ....and Trev? Trev is commenting on the store fronts and the architecture as if he doesn't have a care in the world. I told you he was being irritating.
We eventually made it out of the city and Lola came back to us and we found a camp ground. It's not a great campground. It's not even a nice one which is why we will be trying to find a new one today. We have decided to take the week off and spend the time looking around at the various sights of which there are many.